We are now just a month away from the Breeders’ Cup, and Keeneland opens Friday with a huge opening three days of the fall meeting, offering up seven Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races.
The 17-day meeting runs until Oct. 24, then there will be a five-day break followed by the Prelude to the Cup on Thursday, Oct. 29 and then the two-day Breeders’ Cup on Oct. 30-31.
The $400,000 Alcibades (G1) on Friday’s opening day card drew a field of 11 juvenile fillies, with a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) awaiting the winner.
Pocahontas (G2) winner Dothraki Queen is the 5-2 morning line favorite. She faces five fillies she beat in that race at Churchill Downs on Sept. 12.
The $250,000 Phoenix (G3) drew last year’s Phoenix and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) champion Work All Week, who is the 2-1 second choice on the morning line. King’s Bishop (G1) winner Runhappy is the 9-5 morning line favorite.
The stakes action on Saturday includes the $150,000 Woodford (G3), $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), $400,000 First Lady (G1), $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and the $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
The Shadwell Turf Mile is wide open with Wise Dan, the 2012 and 2014 winner now retired. The Pizza Man comes in off a win in the Arlington Million (G1) in his last outing. Among his foes are last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Bobby’s Kitten and three European invaders.
The Breeders’ Futurity is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and drew a field of 12. There are three stakes winners in the field, Saratoga Special (G2) winner Exaggerator, Prairie Meadows Juvenile Mile victor Pinnacle Peak and Sanford (G3) winner Uncle Vinny.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won this race last year with Carpe Diem will saddle the highly regarded Uncle Vinny, who won the Sanford thanks to a disqualification of Ralis. The colt ran third in the Hopeful (G1) in his last start and Pletcher adds blinkers on Saturday.
The First Lady is not a “Win and You’re In” race but could produce starters for either the Breeders’ Cup Mile or the Filly & Mare Turf (G1).
Tepin comes into the race off runner up finishes in the Ballston Spa (G2) and the Diana (G1) where she came out on the wrong end of photos.
She faces a tough field including Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2) winner She’s Not Here, Noble Damsel (G3) third place finisher Crowley’s Law and a pair of Aiden O’Brien shippers in Easter and Outstanding.
The TCA is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). The TCA has been the prep for recent Filly & Mare Sprint winners Groupie Doll (2012 and 2013), Musical Romance (2011), Dubai Majesty (2010) and Informed Decision (2009).
Among the contenders, this year is Judy the Beauty, last year’s Filly & Mare Sprint winner. She comes into this race off a third place finish in the Honorable Miss Handicap (G2) at Saratoga on July 29.
The Woodford will likely produce starters for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and is always a great betting race. The race drew 16 with 14 able to start.
Sunday’s stakes action at Keeneland features the $250,000 Bourbon Stakes (G3) $500,000 Spinster (G1)
Michael’s Breeders’ Cup Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the card from Keeneland on Oc. 30-31.
The Breeders’ Cup offers 12 championship races over two days, bringing together the best top horses, trainers, and jockeys from around the world, this year to compete at Keeneland.
In 2013 on Breeders’ Cup Saturday Mike nailed seven recommended exactas, paying $53.20, $19.00, $23.20, $58.00, $66.60, $107.80, and $33.60!